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24-Hour Room Service: Reid's Palace Madeira

For a hotel that is almost always full you rarely see your fellow guests at Reid's. Perhaps everyone is seduced by the comfy old-world sofas in their rooms, the Atlantic view from every balcony, or the many hidden benches in the dense tropical garden outside. Around the three swimming pools (two salt, one freshwater), a few well-preserved bodies lie recumbent under enormous hats. In the cocktail bar you may find the dance instructor refreshing a couple's foxtrot for tonight's dinner dance, but that's about it.

Asunción: The capital of Paraguay is the world's least expensive city

Its roaring trade in counterfeit goods conceals a dark yet fascinating history

48 Hours In: Stavanger

Oil put it on the map, but wooden houses and a fascinating fishing history provide this city's charm

Simon Calder: The Man Who Pays His Way

Listen here (and there): travelling can be such a sound experience

Newquay: Summer's over but the surf's still up

Even before The Beach Boys sang about waiting for the summer in " Surfin' USA", the activity was associated with the long hot days of June, July and August. The sun is out, and everyone's at the beach. But that's the problem: everyone's there. So, although the idea of putting a toe anywhere near the British sea in autumn might make you quake, don't think that surfing stops with summer. In autumn, the water is still warm, the swells are bigger – and the fickle summer surfers have shivered away.

Something to declare: Belgium; the Med for less; Algeria

Destination of the week: Belgium

Cuban deals: Book a package holiday to Castro's stronghold

After a lifetime of travelling independently, Lisa Francesca Nand booked a package holiday to Cuba. Oh, the guilt...

My Life In Travel: Actor Simon Callow

'I remember pebbles, Punch and Judy, and lovely postcards of the coastline'

Vallée Blanche: Superb off-piste adventures

The Chamonix ski resort offers off-piste adventures for the intermediate skier. Just make sure you get a guide...

The Complete Guide To: Italy in winter

The leaves are falling, the crowds have gone: what better time to enjoy the cultural riches of the great Italian cities than when you can actually see them?

Five Best: New York hotels on a budget

Bed down in the Big Apple in style, without breaking the bank.

My Life In Travel: Griff Rhys Jones

'I hate tourism – if I arrive at a place organised for tourists I'll turn around'

Five Best: Hotels in print works

Hot off the press: designer accommodation with a twist.

Divine inspiration: Witness the spectacle of Turkey's mystical dervish dancers

For years they could only perform in secret. Now that has changed.

48 Hours In: Palma

Beaches, Miró, warm weather – and the tourists are on their way home. Need any more reasons to visit the Mallorcan capital?
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Independent Travel
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Prices correct as of 17 September 2014
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London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

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In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
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Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
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Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
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From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

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Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments